By Antonino Buccellato.
In the modern culture of expecting too much too soon, Jim Mora (fired on January 8, 2010 just after a five-win season) did not fit in the Seattle Seahawks’ immediate plans.
Out goes Mora, who becomes the first coach in franchise history to deal with such a disgraceful fate, and in comes Pete Carroll from the USC Trojans (at a rate of $7 Million per year for the next five seasons).
After honing his head coaching skills in college with the Trojans for almost a decade, Carroll, a defensive mastermind by trade, returns to the NFL for his second round of duties in the league, this time as the head coach for Seattle where he last held the position of cornerbacks coach in 2000.
One of his top priorities is to uplift an underachieving defensive yardage unit that has ranked 30th and 24th the past two seasons to a more reputable level. Seattle has not been in the top 10 in yardage defense since 1997, when it ranked eighth.
Will he transform Seahawks players into Fantasy Football studs starting in 2010?
Carroll entered the NFL coaching fraternity in 1984 as the defensive backs coach of the Buffalo Bills. He successfully held a similar position with the Minnesota Vikings for the next five seasons, from 1985 to 1989, when he inherited a 28th-ranked defense and contributed to its positive progression every year to 16th, 11th, 10th, and first-ranked, twice, in his final two seasons there.
That led to his hiring by the New York Jets, where he served as defensive coordinator for four seasons (1990-93). He again worked miracles with New York, taking a previously 25th-ranked defense to sixth and fourth the next two seasons. His defense reverted to a mediocre 14th rank in the ’92 season before morphing again to a seventh rank in 1993.
In 1994, Carroll was elevated to head coach of the Jets after the team fired Bruce Coslet. The Jets started 6-4 under Carroll but finished 6-10 (although his defense ranked fifth in the league) and Carroll was relieved of his duties after that one season...